Introduction to Irish Traditional Music with Tradschool

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A brief introduction to Irish Traditiona Music. Lecture given by Tradschool in November 2009

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Introduction to Irish Traditional Music with Tradschool

  1. 1. Tradschool « A Brief Introduction to Irish Traditional Music » <ul><li>The Music </li></ul><ul><li>Transmission </li></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition vs Innovation </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  2. 2. The Music <ul><li>Dance music, orally transmitted </li></ul><ul><li>Dance context: Rythm & Tempo !! </li></ul><ul><li>History : Individual performance </li></ul><ul><li>Today: Group & Session Context </li></ul><ul><li>Social Function </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  3. 3. Tunes <ul><li>Reels : 4/4 Time, Fast, Technical </li></ul><ul><li>Jigs : 6/8 Time, Fast </li></ul><ul><li>Reels & jigs : 2-beats! </li></ul><ul><li>Hornpipes : 4/4, « bouncy » rythm </li></ul><ul><li>Polkas : 2/4, Kerry & Cork </li></ul><ul><li>Slides : 12/8, Kerry & Cork </li></ul><ul><li>Others: Set dances, Mazurkas... </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  4. 4. Distribution of tunes <ul><li>1 Reels : most common, session & recorded music </li></ul><ul><li>2 Jigs </li></ul><ul><li>3 Hornpipes, others... </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  5. 5. Repertoire <ul><li>Huge traditional repertoire </li></ul><ul><li>O'Neill : 1000 + standards </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in repertoire: outside influences </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  6. 6. Style & Ornamentation <ul><li>Styles: regional vs personal </li></ul><ul><li>Sligo: fast, rythmic pulse, ornamented, powerful </li></ul><ul><li>Clare: melodic, slower, less ornaments, relaxed </li></ul><ul><li>Roscommon: rythmic, flute </li></ul><ul><li>Donegal: fast & dynamic, Scottish influence, fiddle </li></ul><ul><li>Kerry: Slides & polkas, accordion </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  7. 7. Matt Molloy <ul><li>North Roscommon / Sligo </li></ul><ul><li>Irish flute </li></ul><ul><li>Complex technical style, Sligo / Roscommon, </li></ul><ul><li>Fast, ornamentations, energy </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of pipes </li></ul><ul><li>Great influence on future generations </li></ul><ul><li>Critics: too much influence...? Molloy clones! </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  8. 8. Micho Russell <ul><li>1915-1944 </li></ul><ul><li>Doolin Co Clare </li></ul><ul><li>Flute & whistle </li></ul><ul><li>Simple, sparse, lilting style </li></ul><ul><li>Link between past & present; musical repertoire & folklore </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  9. 9. Transmission of the music <ul><li>Oral transmission: teachers, sessions, informal groupings </li></ul><ul><li>Written transmission: sheet music & « bones » of tune </li></ul><ul><li>History of both oral & written transmission </li></ul><ul><li>Errors in transmission lead to changes in repertoire; versions of tunes </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  10. 10. Framework of the music <ul><li>Simple, highly-organised folk music </li></ul><ul><li>Question & Response structure </li></ul><ul><li>Organised into 2- & 4- bar « bits » </li></ul><ul><li>Similarity of tunes aids transmission; similar tropes returning throughout repertoire </li></ul><ul><li>« Bathing » in repertoire; the more you learn, the more you learn! </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  11. 11. Sources of « Irish » Music <ul><li>Reels : Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>Jigs : England </li></ul><ul><li>Polkas : Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Hornpipes : England, europe </li></ul><ul><li>Flute : England </li></ul><ul><li>Fiddle : Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Accordion : Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Bouzouki : Greece... </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  12. 12. Liberty in Performing <ul><li>Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Personal taste </li></ul><ul><li>« Less is more » vs « More is more » </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusion vs exclusion </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  13. 13. Perception of music among musicians <ul><li>Little tendency to intellectualise </li></ul><ul><li>« That's a nice tune, where did you get it? » </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetics & context </li></ul><ul><li>Technical aspects not formalised </li></ul><ul><li>Learning by imitation rather than explanation </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  14. 14. Tradition vs Innovation 1 <ul><li>The Traditionalists </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition « in danger » </li></ul><ul><li>Local styles being lost </li></ul><ul><li>Styles being « homogenised » </li></ul><ul><li>« Global music » without meaning </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  15. 15. Tradition vs Innovation 2 <ul><li>The « Innovators » </li></ul><ul><li>Carrying on a tradition of innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Using relevant influences </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with styles already connected with ITM </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  16. 16. Innovating « from inside » <ul><li>Innovating « from exterior » </li></ul><ul><li>Adding drums, bass, guitars « on top of » traditional melody; S. Shannon... </li></ul><ul><li>Innovating « from interior » </li></ul><ul><li>Matt Molloy : combination of styles, blue notes </li></ul><ul><li>McGoldrick : accomplished traditional performer; « combines »outside influences </li></ul><ul><li>Persinal Taste!!!! </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com
  17. 17. To Conclude... <ul><li>Simple system, simple music... </li></ul><ul><li>Simple doesn't mean easy! </li></ul><ul><li>The more you look, the more you learn... </li></ul><ul><li>The more you listen, the more you learn... </li></ul><ul><li>The more you play, the more you learn... </li></ul><ul><li>The more you learn, the more you learn! </li></ul><ul><li>Not every question has an answer! </li></ul><ul><li>You never stop learning... </li></ul> (C) 2009 www.tradschool.com

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